Top Critic Average
I like the game at CE’s heart, but interacting with it is simply unpleasant. Were it slick and reliable perhaps I could bear its extreme micro-management and unhelpful UI, but the fact is that it’s currently strewn with technical errors, most of which boil down to, once again, build orders not happening. Meteor storms, cult outbreaks and merman invasions are its highlight, yes, but ultimately they are just colourful interruptions to a deeply frustrating normality.
There's a lot to love in the way Clockwork Empires attempts to break up the construction sim framework with Lovecraftian creatures and almost assured destruction, but it often takes too long to get to the best parts and fills that time with dull busywork. For most of the hours spent, it's largely a standard colonization simulator that's hampered with an unwieldy user interface and weak AI.
Clockwork Empires feels like a flawed gem. Gamers looking for an accessible colony simulator will certainly find a lot to love here, but frequent crashes and numerous AI issues spoil the experience.
Clockwork Empires has a solid foundation, but all of the events that should be challenging and tell memorable stories mostly end up being small blips on the game's radar.
Clockwork Empires has a lot of promise but numerous technical issues and a baffling UI, not to mention disappointing use of the steampunk aesthetic, make the game a frustrating and tedious experience.
Clockwork Empires is broken, buggy, and frustrating, but manages to provide something very fun and satisfying for the right kind of player. There are no easy way to play, but perseverance will be rewarded.